Westside will line up against a familiar foe in the first round of the girls state high school basketball tournament on Thursday.
The No. 1 seed Lady Renegades (23-1) take on No. 8 PikeView (14-10) at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in the third of four AA quarterfinals at the Charleston Civic Center.
WHS beat the Panthers twice in the regular season by scores of 74-34 and 58-28.
“Pikeview is a very well coached team,” said Renegades coach Jamie Lusk. ” They play extremely hard and play great defense. We have to run the floor and control the boards to be effective against them.”
The Panthers got off to a 3-5 start but enter the state tourney on a six-game winning streak, including a 57-38 regional win over No. 6 Summers County.
Lusk says one key is containing PikeView guard Hope Nester. “We have to keep Hope Nester out of the lane and make her become a jump shooter,” stated Lusk. “She is quick and sees the floor well. Her teammates are very complementary to her and fill their roles.”
Westside counters with a lineup led by all-state center Hope Lester. The sophomore averages 18 points and 13 rebounds per game.
Guard Faith Davis scores at 12 ppg and averages four steals per outing. Danielle Brown is the team’s top outside threat with 11 ppg and 52 threes on the season.
Senior point guard Morgan Spolarich averages 9 ppg and seven assists and junior foward Megan Endicott averages 9 ppg and eight rebounds per game.
“We have to make sure that we play great defense and shoot the ball with confidence,” Lusk commented.
“We have to use our size advantage and pound the ball inside and get our big girls involved.”
The Lady Renegades haven’t been beaten by a AA team since the 2011 regional championship game against PikeView.
“It’s going to be an exciting game between two familiar teams, and it will take a great effort for us to win the game,” said Lusk.
The Westside-PikeView winner will meet the winner of the Clay County-Fairmont Senior contest on Friday at 7:15 p.m. in the semifinals.